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Patent
Innovative Scientific Solutions, Inc. | Date: 2016-02-18

A device and method for identifying solid and liquid materials use near-infrared transmission spectroscopy combined with multivariate calibration methods for analysis of the spectral data. Near-infrared transmission spectroscopy is employed within either the 700-1100 nm or the 900-1700 nm wavelength range to identify solid or liquid materials and determine whether they match specific known materials. Uses include identifying solid (including powdered) and liquid materials with a fast measurement cycle time of about 2 to 15 seconds and with a method that requires no sample preparation, as well as quantitative analysis to determine the concentration of one or more chemical components in a solid or liquid sample that consists of a mixture of components. A primary application of such analysis includes detection of counterfeit drug tablets, capsules and liquid medications.


Grant
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 124.77K | Year: 2016

One focus of NASA aerodynamics research is enabling energy efficient flight through drag reduction technologies. A variety of drag reduction techniques have shown promise and are under investigation, including both active flow control and surface microstructure concepts. Experimental verification of the performance of any drag reduction technique, however, can be challenging. Drag forces are generally significantly smaller than lift and side forces. Furthermore, drag reduction techniques are operating on components of the model, and therefore, a model mounted drag balance is required to evaluate the performance of the drag reduction technology. Further complicating the measurement is the fact that active flow control requires that high pressure air or electrical power be passed through the model mounted balance without impacting the measurement. Over the past 10 years, ISSI has developed an optical sensor for measurements of skin friction known as Surface Stress Sensitive Film (S3F). S3F has demonstrate good sensitivity to skin friction while maintaining very high common mode rejection between the pressure and skin friction forces. ISSI has recently designed and built a prototype drag balance based on this sensor. The balance design is structurally similar to a traditional balance, employing four pillars S3F as the active elements. Rather than monitoring strain in the pillars, as is done with a traditional balance, the vertical and horizontal deformation of the pillars is monitored and these displacements are converted to forces and moments. Preliminary results on the prototype balance indicate that forces smaller than a mili-Newton may be resolved, and there is no measureable coupling between the drag force and the normal or side forces. Development of a force balance technology that can be integrated into a model and measure small changes in drag would be of significant value for the development of energy efficient flight.


Grant
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 124.92K | Year: 2015

Significant advances in the use of fast responding Pressure-Sensitive Paint have recently been achieved as demonstrated by a multi-camera fast PSP test conducted in the 16 foot transonic wind tunnel at AEDC. The unsteady pressure results from this test demonstrated excellent accuracy and spatial resolution, establishing the technical readiness of the fast PSP sensor. During the program, two issues were identified that would significantly improve the fast PSP system performance, 1) real-time data processing, and 2) acquisition of both mean and unsteady data using a single entry. Here we propose the continued development of the fast PSP system by addressing these issues. To enable real-time data processing, a system composed of a computer with a large block of memory, a multi-core processer, and several high end video cards (GPUs) has been assembled. Modern GPUs include thousands of floating point processors and large blocks of memory which enable parallel computations to be executed on individual images. Fast PSP data is an ideal application of this technology as many of the computations can be performed on each image independently. Preliminary tests by ISSI have demonstrated improvements of a factor of three to thirty in processing time using this approach. Acquisition of both mean and unsteady pressure during a single tunnel entry would increase tunnel productivity and can be used to improve the accuracy of the unsteady pressure data. Unfortunately, fast PSPs are generally very temperature sensitive which limits their use in acquiring mean pressure data. ISSI has recently developed a fast PSP formulation with low temperature sensitivity. This formulation will be optimized for use in large wind tunnels and enable acquisition of mean and unsteady pressure data using a single PSP.


Grant
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 749.88K | Year: 2014

The proposed work focuses on implementing fast-response pressure-sensitive paint for measurements of unsteady pressure in rotorcraft applications. Significant rotorcraft problems such as dynamic stall, rotor blade loads in forward flight, and blade-vortex interaction all have significant unsteady pressure oscillations that must be resolved in order to understand the underlying physics. Installation of pressure transducers is difficult and expensive on rotorcraft models, and the resulting data has limited spatial resolution. Application of a fast-responding pressure-sensitive paint should provide unsteady surface pressure distributed over the blade surface. Fast PSP measurements have been demonstrated at NASA Langley on a 2-meter rotor model in hover and in forward flight by the ISSI/OSU team using two single camera systems. More recently, measurements were conducted in forward flight using multiple cameras and lasers at two azimuthal positions. We propose expanding this system for production testing. During Phase I, a lens controller + pan/tilt stages with Ethernet control and presets was developed. This device will be used to control the field of view of the system remotely. Mitigation of motion blur at the tip was demonstrated using a galvanic mirror. A temperature measurement capability using TSP was added to the system to allow temperature corrections to be applied to the PSP data. Fast efficient data processing software that included automatic image registration and scripting of repetitive operations was investigated to speed up data processing. These new tools and software will be integrated into the data acquisition package and data processing package to improve accuracy and productivity during testing.


Grant
Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Air Force | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 149.91K | Year: 2015

ABSTRACT:The goal of the proposed effort will be to demonstrate a diagnostic technique that can simultaneously measure the combustion progress variable, the flow velocity, and the fuel-to-air ratio with high spatial and temporal resolution to allow the local heat release to be determined. This approach will require the combination of two well-established diagnostic techniques laser induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) and laser acoustic anemometry (LAA). The former method will be utilized to measure local FARs, and the latter method will be employed to measure the speed of sound from which the local gas temperature and velocity can be determined. Once the local FAR, temperature, and velocity are known, the local heat release can be determined from thermodynamic principles. To accomplish this objective the following Phase I tasks are being proposed: Task 1. Construct and Calibrate LIBS System Task 2. Construct and Calibrate LAA System. Task 3. Construct Combined LIBS/LAA System. Task 4. Conduct Demonstration Tests in Large-Scale Atmospheric Burner. Task 5. Make Recommendations for Phase II System BENEFIT:The simultaneous measurement of FAR, temperature, velocity, and heat release is a significant step forward for the study of real-world combustors. The utilization of LIBS to measure combustion FAR has many commercial applications from automotive to industrial furnaces. The addition of the LAA system greatly increases the range of measurement capability and the usefulness of the experimental data. For example, combustion modeling typical utilized mixture fraction to determine flame characteristics (temperature, species, and pollutant formation) however, what they can only guess at is the local reaction progress variable. LIBS allows measurements of FAR but not the progress variable which requires in this case a simultaneous temperature measurement. The combined LIBS/LAA instrument provides both numerical and experimental combustor designers an important experimental tool that provides key experimental data for computational model evaluation.


Grant
Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Air Force | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 749.07K | Year: 2016

ABSTRACT:Quantitative ablation recession rate measurements of heat shield surfaces are essential for evaluating the performance of heat shield materials. Currently, these measurements are limited to two-dimensional images that focus on the nose tip regression rate. For wedge testing, recession rate is determined by comparing pre- and post-test measurements, and therefore, recession rate as a function of time can only be obtained by conducting separate tests with progressively longer run times. We propose a real-time 3-D surface mapping capability for arc jet models based on the concept of stereo photogrammetric reconstruction of the surface using projected structured light patterns onto the surface. Imaging in this high temperature reactive flow is degraded by emission from the surface and reactions in the flow which result in significant spectral content. Recently, ISSI has demonstrated image-based measurements of particle dynamics in Solid Rocket Motors using narrowband illumination and short exposure times to reject the broadband emission from the flow and surface. The resulting 3-D surface maps of material recession as a function of time would allow more effective ablation performance evaluations of advanced high-temperature materials and enable validation of computational models of material response.BENEFIT:It is noted that the market for ablation coating regression in hypersonic flows is limited, however, the fundamental technology that is key to the proposal, optical surface topography has applications in a variety of industries. A system that provides accurate measurements of surface geometry, even in the presence of noise may be of value aeronautical and bio-medical engineering. For ISSI, the most obvious customer base are existing wind tunnel operators who have an interest in higher performance model deformation systems. The surface-imaging systems that are key to this program could have significant impact on the model deformation applications. ISSI is a key commercial source of PSP technology worldwide, with customers in the US, Japan, Korea, and several countries in the EU. Total sales from this technology are now over $1,000,000 per year with significant growth seen each of the last 6 years. Several commercial customers have expressed interest in model deformation capability. With our current market position, ISSI will be able to market this new capability to existing customers as well as develop new customersts.


Grant
Agency: Department of Agriculture | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 99.69K | Year: 2016

The spray application of pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers and growth regulators produces substantial benefits in crop yields. Aerial spray application of bulk materials offers advantages such as efficiency, speed, and access to constrained areas. However, a disadvantage with spray application is the unintended drift of spray droplets. Spray drift reduces efficiency, increases cost, and produces potential environmental hazards. The key issue is controlling the size of the spray droplets produced by application nozzles in flight. Nozzle performance is routinely characterized in wind tunnels by experimental measurements designed to mimic the in-flight process. However, imperfect models must be used to extend the wind tunnel test results to in-flight performance. This program will develop a droplet size measurement system that can be used in flight. Successful implementation will provide two key opportunities: (1) measurement of droplet size in flight for the development of improved nozzles and application processes, and (2) the potential for closed-loop control of droplet size to reduce spray drift in real time.Innovative Scientific Solutions, Inc. developed Particle Shadow Velocimetry (PSV) as a velocity, acceleration, and particle/droplet size measurement technique. PSV employs high magnification imaging of the shadows produced by flowing droplets or particles. Size measurements have been conducted on water droplets in a Mach 2 wind tunnel, and on propellant grains in an active solid rocket motor. The basic hardware of the proposed system consists of an LED for illumination and a digital camera for imaging. It totally eliminates the bulky and expensive laser components typically used in size measurement systems. As a result, PSV is very suitable for in-flight measurements of the size of agrochemical spray droplets in high speed air. The societal benefits of the overall SBIR Phase I and potential II program are to reduce the quantity of agrochemicals that need to be applied and the resultant environmental hazards from unintended spray drift.


Grant
Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Air Force | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 149.27K | Year: 2015

ABSTRACT:Heat transfer is an important quantity that remains difficult to predict using CFD. Phenomena such as transition and separation are difficult to capture with discrete sensors. Temperature-Sensitive Paint is an image-based technology that has been used for over 25 years to acquire measurements of surface temperature and heat flux in a variety of flows. The major limitation to deploying TSP systems in AEDC Tunnel B/C, where temperatures are between 600 F and 2000 F, is the availability of an appropriate TSP. Standard TSPs utilize polymer materials that will not survive long-duration testing at elevated temperatures while traditional phosphor-based TSPs employ coatings that cannot be removed without damaging the model surface. Recently, ISSI has developed phosphor-based TSP systems that address these issues. The TSP system is composed of a surface layer of a carbon compound that is over sprayed with a phosphor based TSP in a high temperature binder. The carbon compound adheres to the surface, but is non-reactive at elevated temperatures. Removal of the TSP system is accomplished using a Teflon spatula and then the carbon layer is removed using Acetone. The objective of this proposal is to deploy a TSP-based system for acquiring heat flux measurements in Tunnel B/C.BENEFIT:A system that can provide global measurements of heat flux on a model in a high temperature wind tunnel would be of value for future CFD validation and hypersonic designs. Temperature-Sensitive Paint is an image-based technology that has been used to acquire measurements of surface temperature and heat flux in wind tunnels. The major limitation to deploying TSP systems in AEDC Tunnel B/C, where temperatures are between 600 F and 2000 F, is the availability of an appropriate TSP. Recently, ISSI has developed phosphor-based TSP system that can be applied with an air-brush, operated at temperatures over 900 F, and removed with a Teflon spatula and Acetone. The overall objective of the program is to deploy a TSP-based system for acquiring surface temperature, heat flux, and heat transfer measurements in AEDC Tunnel B/C. The technical maturity and accuracy of the TSP technique has been demonstrated in numerous wind tunnel experiments. The potential to deploy a production data acquisition and processing TSP system is demonstrated by the commercial PSP/TSP systems that have been installed by the proposing team. It is noted that the market for TSP measurements in high temperature wind tunnels is limited, however, the fundamental technology that is key to the proposal, optical measurements of surface temperature has applications in a variety of markets. It is well known that gas turbine engine manufactures would like to deploy CMCs to both reduce weight and increase efficiency of these engines. Uniform film cooling of the CMC is required to prevent cracks in the CMC. An experimental system that could measure these temperatures on test rigs would be useful for evaluating the effectiveness of film cooling designs. ISSI is a key commercial source of PSP/TSP technology worldwide, with customers in the US, Japan, Korea, and several countries in the EU. Total sales from this technology are now over $1,000,000 per year with significant growth seen each of the last 6 years. Several commercial customers have expressed interest in a high temperature measurement capability. With our current market position, ISSI will be able to market this new capability to existing customers as well as develop new customers.


Grant
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 749.71K | Year: 2016

Ground-based testing resources are essential for the development of aerospace systems. While these facilities can be expensive to maintain and operate, the cost to acquire data can be significantly reduced by implementing measurement systems featuring high data capture per test while requiring limited modification or instrumentation of models. There has recently been a significant upturn in the use of fast responding Pressure-Sensitive Paint (PSP) technology. Fast PSP, which offers a means of acquiring unsteady pressure data at millions of locations on a model surface, has long been viewed as a disruptive technology. Recent advancements in fast CMOS camera and LED technology have facilitated the realization of this long promised capability. Data at an individual pixel can be extracted and processed as traditional pressure tap data to identify mean, rms, and spectral content and full data sets can be decomposed spectrally to present the amplitude of the pressure fluctuations spatially at a series of frequencies. Acquisition of the data is only one portion of an effective fast PSP system. Fast PSP systems generate thousands of images in seconds, and each of these images represents a sample of up to one million fast pressure sensors. For maximum productivity, the data must be collected, processed, and a preliminary analysis conducted in near real-time to allow users to identify flow features of interest, and modify the test plan to maximize tunnel test time. The data processing tools must include fast processing of the data and automated analysis tools to identify key flow features in near real-time. The objective of the Phase I and Phase II program is to both identify the fast PSP hardware for a large wind tunnel system, and develop and integrate the data processing tools that will result in a productive system. The proposed fast PSP system would improve wind tunnel utilization, enhance the performance of ground-based programs, and indirectly lower operational costs


Patent
Innovative Scientific Solutions, Inc. | Date: 2015-09-21

A light source for near-infrared transmission and reflection spectroscopy can be constructed from a combination of a high power blue or blue-green light emitting diode (LED) and a phosphor element based on an inorganic material. The phosphor element absorbs the LED light and, in response to the LED excitation, emits luminescence that continuously covers the 700-1050 nm range. One possible material that can be used for such a near-infrared emitting phosphor element is a single crystal rod of Ti+3 doped Sapphire. An alternative near-infrared emitting phosphor material is a disk or rectangular shaped composite of Ti^(+3 )doped Sapphire powder embedded in a clear optical epoxy or silicone encapsulant. Such a combination of a blue LED for excitation of a phosphor element that emits in a broad wavelength band has been widely used in white LEDs where the emission is in the 400-700 nm range.

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